In Iowa, a high school wrestler chose to forfeit a match rather than face a female opponent.
The boy’s father said his son “believes women should be treated with dignity and respect.” I have to assume this implies that when he faces male opponents he treats them disrespectfully and like crap. Such a kid doesn’t belong in competitive athletics.
The bottom line is that his religion makes him believe that women are not equal in status to men. His religion is teaching him that women are to be treated differently than men. There’s nothing inappropriate about physical contact during competitive wrestling. No matter where his hand lands on her body, as long as he wrestles and doesn’t grope, there is nothing distasteful about it. As a wrestler he’s surely inadvertently touched other boys between the legs. When he realizes what he’s done, he probably changes his positioning. As long as he’d do the same when wrestling a female opponent, where is the foul?
The girl made the same choice he did to participate in a rough contact sport where there is a probability to face people of the opposite gender. Admittedly there’s a higher chance for her to face an opposite gender opponent than him, but both should have been aware of the possibility when they signed up. If not, they should have done more research before signing up.
There is nothing wrong with thinking women are something to protect as long as he feels the same way about all people. To think that only women are something to shield and shelter is the kind of sexist ignorance we’re supposed to be over and done with in our country. Any person who wants to put themselves in the subordinate position of sheltered and shielded is one thing, that’s a choice made by some people who allow their spouses all the power in the relationship. But to force that subordinate position on someone who’s clearly not wanting to take that role is rude and disrespectful.
It is not respect for him to force his beliefs on his opponent by sheltering her from the match. It’s blatant disrespect for her desire to participate in the sport. It’s disrespect for her as a person to not engage her as an equal.
It’s all fine that he can cite his religion for why he treats women like objects to be kept in gilded cages. Members of such religions should not sign up for non-gender specific sports. If he wants an all male league he should start one at his church.